22nd May 2018
Tips for nervous patients
For many people, visiting the dentist is a nonchalant activity. Something they know they have to do and it’s no bother. But for some individuals, it is a truly terrifying experience. Thanks to things such as horror films, even the sound of a drill are too much for some. Due to this fear, these individuals will actively ignore visiting their local dental practice. By not receiving regular check-ups, small problems which can be easily treated build up to create bigger problems. This means that if the individual is finally able to visit a dentist despite their fears, this experience can be very overwhelming due to the problems that have arisen because of their absence.
At Lion Dental Centre, Stourbridge, we completely understand why some people may be afraid of the dentist. We want to make the experience of visiting our practice as easy as possible, and for you to feel completely at ease. Promises we make to you regarding this are:
- Encourage our patients to talk openly regarding how they’re feeling. If your dentist is aware that you are feeling nervous, they can do everything they can to help put you at ease.
- Answer any questions you may have regarding your treatment and encourage you to ask as many as you wish. It’s important that you fully understand and are comfortable with your proposed treatment plan. We want you to feel happy and confident in our care.
- Allow patients to bring a family member or friend with them if it will put them at ease.
- Establish a ‘stop’ signal, so you are in complete control of your treatment and can stop it at any point.
At Lion Dental Centre, we understand the difference between dental anxiety and dental phobia. Dental anxiety is very common, with many people feeling a sense of apprehension and nervousness regarding a dental appointment. This can be exceptionally apparent when undergoing treatment for the first time or visiting a new practice. However, a dental phobia is much more serious. This intense feeling of dread or fear can bring out panic-stricken behaviour and a determination to avoid the dentist. Typically, sufferers of dental phobia only visit a practice when their problems are unavoidable and are drastically affecting their everyday life. Also, a dental phobia can have a big effect on a person’s general well-being and self-confidence. Overcoming a dental phobia is important for your physical health and mental health.
In order to aid in dealing with a dental phobia, we’ve compiled four tips that may help visiting a practice easier.
Recognising your fears
It’s so important to understand your phobia and address it. Some people find writing down their fears helps, maybe writing down what you would like to say to a dentist if you were being completely honest. Listing your fears will not only help you understand what part of a dental appointment you’re afraid of, but this can massively aid your dentist in understanding your phobia. If your dentist understands the problem, they can help you much more easily.
At Lion Dental Centre, we actively encourage all nervous patients to communicate to a member of our staff that they are particularly nervous about visiting us. Even if that member of staff is the receptionist who takes your call upon calling the practice to book, or the dentist with whom you have your appointment. We are very understanding of dental phobias and want you to feel at ease and heard. If we are aware of your phobia, we can compile an action plan to make your treatment as easy as possible. A popular suggestion for nervous patients is to establish a non-verbal signal between the dentist and yourself. This signal will mean you wish the treatment to pause or stop completely, allowing you to feel much more in control of the appointment.
Bringing someone with you
We are perfectly okay with nervous patients bringing a loved one with them to the practice. A friend or family member can offer you extra support and calm you down during an appointment. We suggest going with someone who has no apprehension regarding visiting the dentist and scheduling your appointment for the morning, so you will spend less time dwelling.
Ask about sedation
At Lion Dental Centre, Stourbridge, we understand that for particularly nervous patients, sedation can sound like a favourable option. We encourage you to ask about sedation, as under certain circumstances it is an option.